Friday, February 26, 2010

thin love

Love is or it ain't. Thin love ain't love at all.

- Toni Morrison, writer and winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The impracticality of pacificism

[Some say,] "But pacifism is so impractical!" As if Christian ethics were utilitarian, as if there were a calculus for shalom! ... In any case, it is not as if the whole church has tried pacifism and found it wanting, the fact is that the whole church has not tried pacifism at all.

- Kim Fabricius, from his book, Propositions on Christian Theology: A Pilgrim Walks the Plank

Friday, February 19, 2010


I have not the courage to search through books for beautiful prayers ... Unable either to say them all or choose between them, I do as a child would do who cannot read -- I say just what I want to say to God, quite simply, and [God] never fails to understand.

- Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, French Carmelite nun, canonized in 1925

Living in Design

[We] must begin to see our houses, buildings, farms, businesses, energy technologies, transportation, landscapes, and communities in much the same way that we regard classrooms. In fact, they instruct us in more fundamental ways because they structure what we see, how we move, what we eat, our sense of time and space, how we relate to each other, our sense of security, and how we experience the particular places in which we live.

David Orr
The Nature of Design

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Laying down our lives

When we think about laying down a life for another we usually think in terms of a singular event. But it is possible for us to lay down our lives over the course of a lifetime, minute by minute and day by day. And it is the work of the Spirit to empower us as we seek to lose ourselves in acts of lovingkindness and sacrificial living.

- Elaine Puckett, professor at Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia

True learning

"Come and see" was the pedagogy of Jesus. The truest learning is incarnational; we learn the deepest lessons looking "over the shoulder" and "through the heart," seeing that a worldview can become a way of life.

Steven Garber
The Fabric of Faithfulness

Regarded as the book of the decade by Byron Borger, especially in terms of discussing how young people learn to integrate their faith into their worldview - or vice versa.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Marriage

A happy marriage is the union of two forgivers.

- Ruth Bell Graham, poet, philanthropist, and wife of evangelist Billy Graham

Thursday, February 11, 2010

God in Church

Tell the truth, have you ever found God in church? I never did. I just found a bunch of folks hoping for [God] to show. Any God I ever felt in church I brought in with me. And I think all the other folks did too. They come to church to share God, not find God.

- Alice Walker,
from her book The Color Purple

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Reading Biographies

F W Boreham possessed a bias towards Disraeli’s decree, “Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory” and Emerson’s variation, “There is properly no history; only biography”.

Dr Boreham wrote of the means by which readers might experience the personalities of significant people who had died and asserted, “The biographies of the noble dead are among the most stimulating volumes in our libraries. By means of their pages we come in touch with the richest and rarest spirits of the past: and in the process, our finest impulses are quickened and our highest aspirations inflamed.”

Thanks to Geoff Pound for these quotes.

Thursday, February 04, 2010


For it is only in the encounter with other persons that Christ is encountered, in the concrete and not the abstract, and only by attachment to -- not detachment from -- the concrete that the universal Christ is encountered. The call to Christians is not so much either to embrace or try to replace abstractions such as "capitalism" with other abstractions. It is rather to sustain forms of economy, community, and culture that recognize the universality of the individual person.

William T. Cavanaugh
Being Consumed


Repentance is the doorway to the spiritual life, the only way to begin. It is also the path itself, the only way to continue. Anything else is foolishness and self-delusion. Only repentance is both brute-honest enough, and joyous enough, to bring us all the way home.

- Frederica Mathewes-Green, from her essay, "Both Door and Path"

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

About marriage

We quarreled because we loved each other, I have no doubt about that. We were trying to become somehow the same person, one flesh, and we often failed. When distance came between us, we would blame it on each other. And here is a wonder. I maybe never loved him so much or yearned toward him so much as when I was mad at him. It's not a simple thing, this love.

Hannah Coulter
Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry

Being Human

It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, though it is a race dedicated to many absurdities and one which makes many terrible mistakes: yet, with all that, God ... gloried in becoming a member of the human race.

- Thomas Merton, from A Book of Hours

Monday, February 01, 2010


The ultimate purpose of the work of this God may never be understood by the [human] mind. Perhaps as it was, as the Baltimore Catechism told me long ago, that God wanted to be known, loved, and served. If that is true, [God] did so by devising a universe that would make knowledge, love, and service meaningful.

- Kenneth Miller, Professor of Biology at Brown University, on why he thinks science and faith are compatible


It is part of the mechanism of domination to forbid recognition of the suffering it produces.

Theodor W. Adorno
Minima Moralia